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The Essential Packing List You Should Never Be Without

Jewelry designer Ariel Gordon's jet-setting bare necessities.

The Essential Packing List You Should Never Be Without
Designed by Briana Gagnier.

Travel season is upon us. And, with that, we often get so excited about the prospect of leaving town that we experience temporary amnesia regarding what the heck to pack. Whether you're heading to the beaches of Belize or mountains of Colorado (or a work trip!), there's a list of packing essentials that will make the entire experience feel easy breezy.

The Essential Packing List You Should Never Be Without
Courtesy of Ariel Gordon.

Ariel Gordon, jewelry designer and travel extraordinaire, travels often between sourcing vendors, meeting with retailers, managing her own company, and finding time to vacation. Because she's always on the fly, we picked Gordon's brain to find out her must-have travel essentials. Read ahead for her list — it's exactly what every frequent traveler, or  needs. 

1. A cozy set of PJ’s.

The Essential Packing List You Should Never Be Without
Courtesy of Eberjey.

One thing I love about traveling is staying in a great, big hotel bed that someone else makes for me! I love having a snuggly new set of pajamas for when I crawl into bed at night. On my next trip to NYC, I’ll be bringing this set from Eberjey.

2. Beauty Products.

Glossier makes my favorite moisturizer (always applied pre-flight to stay hydrated), True Botanicals hydrating mist is a perfect daily pick-me-up, Supergoop Lip Perk has both SPF and just the right amount of color. Finally, I always travel with a few mini perfumes because you never know when you might need it...  I typically bring either Le Labo Santal 33 or Frederic Malle En Passant.

3. Jewelry.

The Essential Packing List You Should Never Be Without
Courtesy of Ariel Gordon.

I always travel with my signet pinky ring, a LUCA name it stud, a paper thin thumb ring, pave huggies (worn side by side), an anklet on each foot, and an imperial disc pendant with Mia and Luca engraved on it. Depending on where I’m traveling, I sometimes replace my engagement ring with a more modest love knot ring. I organize my jewelry individually in little zip lock baggies (always with the necklace clasps hanging out so they don’t clump in on themselves and get tangled).

I then put all of these baggies in a chic little Clare V pouch in my purse (never in a checked suitcase). And, here's a trick only a jewelry designer would know: you can still swim in the ocean in real gold jewelry... no fear of tarnishing here!

4. Swimsuit.

I love swimwear from Marysia and J. Crew. Post baby number two (and post c-section number two), I’m wearing more one pieces than before. Both of these brands make some really chic versions that still provide great coverage.

5. Footwear.

The Essential Packing List You Should Never Be Without
Courtesy of Freda Salvador.

If I want to look more put together (but still be comfortable), I bring a pair of mules from Freda Salvador. Their shoes are well-made, super comfortable, and still stylish — especially when worn with our Signet Nameplates on the laces. If I’m going to be doing a lot of sight seeing, I wear my white chucks or some Arizona Birkenstocks. For a tropical getaway, I’ll be wearing some Ancient Greek Sandals.

6. Luggage.

I ALWAYS do a carry-on bag with 360 wheels. Trust me, it will save you time on both legs of your flight and it allows you to be nimble in the face of delays. We once went to France for three weeks with my son Luca, and we only brought 2 carry-ons — that’s a particular point of pride. Plus, if you find yourself without the right thing to wear, you can always go shopping!

Need tips on where to take these travel essentials? Check out 25 Modern Staycation Spots In 25 Cities